I grew up going to Shaw's, and I thought it was great. Then, I moved to Rochester, NY for awhile and discovered Wegmans, and my loyalties switched quickly and permanently. Shaw's does have a decent bakery, though - and Wegmans doesn't exist around here (yet...I'm glaring at you, ultra-slow developers of the Westwood shopping development) - so I don't hold a grudge against Shaw's, despite the usually terrible selection of produce.
Part 1: Mini Cupcakes
If you grew up near a Shaw's like I did, I'm sure you've had these at countless birthday parties. Bite-sized and sprinkled, they're always decent. If the cake part is a bit dry at times, it doesn't really matter because it's gone in a bite. The frosting is a little bit sweet, fortunately without that ultra-chemically taste. This tasting took place at a going away party for one of my classmates from grad school, who just moved back home to Montana for awhile. She loves bugs and spiders, so I decorated the food table with an assortment of (toy) spiders.
|Shaw's mini vanilla cupcakes with chocolate or vanilla frosting (spider not included)|
Gourmet? Shaw's? Well, relative to the simple mini cupcakes, yes. We tried three: a giant vanilla one topped with chocolate frosting and white chocolate shavings, a normal-sized chocolate cupcake with vanilla frosting and an Oreo cookie, and a normal-sized chocolate cupcake with pink frosting in the shape of a rose. The vanilla cake was very dry; the chocolate was also pretty dry, but a bit more bearable. The frosting on the giant cupcake was nice - kind of like a Hostess cupcake. The rose frosting was practically radioactive: that bitter, awful, fake sugary taste. Yuck. The frosting adhesion on the rose cupcake was also terrible. The nightmarish frosting fell right off the cake (which I guess is actually a good thing in this case). The frosting-to-cake ratio was appropriate on all three cupcakes.
|Do not get this cupcake. Ever. Or if you do, let the frosting fall off (it will.) The cake part was actually pretty decent.|
|Decent cake, decent frosting. This is a pretty safe choice if you like Oreos.|
|This cupcake is just too big for its own good: it's very dry. The frosting, however, is very nice. If you get this one, try to get it early in the day; maybe it'll be moister.|